This is a video for something you may find interesting. Basically when your blood sugar rises it changes color. It's intended for those diagnosed with diabetes, but I can see it's use in diagnosing the condition, and for keeping tabs on one's blood sugar. At present it means a permanent tattoo, but should it be possible with temporary ones it may well make a doctor's visit a different thing indeed.
Heck, now that I think of it, felt tipped pens one would use to write on one's skin to keep tabs on blood sugar levels and possibly other matters.
For our purposes acting is the art of pretending to be somebody or something other than what you are. In the realm of RPGs that is supposed to include behaving in such a manner as to direct others into thinking of you as that "other", and just as importantly yourself.
With some it comes naturally, others don't even bother to try. Then too there is the fact that not everybody sees the role you play the way you do. You have the savage as presented in old adventure stories, and then you have the savage as presented in the pages of National Geographic. By received wisdom the North American raccoon is a wild animal that studiously avoids humans, which according to videos one can see on-line are kept as pets that can get down right affectionate.
And let me add that one person's setting could have, let's say, illithids as conniving, treacherous, manipulative, brain devouring bastards. While another sees them as wandering merchants fostering trade and communication among the cultures they visit. Which means that often the player will need to adapt and adjust as he plays his role.
Just as important is the fact that in each group each member will need to be flexible in how he approaches his own play, the play of others, and the play of the guide. For the Dwarfs of the Viridian Glens are not the Dwarfs of the Fetid Wastes. My orcs are not going to be yours.
So being open and able to accept differences is important. Accepting that another is going to see matters differently from you is especially important. For such acceptance can and most often will mean more open play. I mean, treating all goblins as crazed killers gets boring after a while. Having to actually learn about who you've just met can be a lot more fun.
But the really important thing is to learn how to act. Act effectively, act convincingly, for it is your task to convince your fellow players that 4'2" tall Anne is now playing a 12' tall argent giant who can easily see over that 10' wall, and even help her friends get over it.
And why is acting so important? We'll look at that in part three.
Back in 1975, in his contribution to The Wild Hunt, the late Glenn Blacow made the observation that what you were doing in D&D was playing a role. Other figures in the early community took up that idea, and sort of expanded on it, interpreting it to mean that Dungeons and Dragons and the like were what amounted to role playing games. Thing is, from what I can see the purpose of a game such as D&D is not to play a role, but to accomplish tasks. You can assume a role, but that's not really why you're there.
At the acting game link I've provided here you get a series of exercises for young children. Those exercises, those games, are designed to help teach children how to play a role. They will work for adults. That is the purpose of an acting game, to act. To play a role. You're not out to win anything, but only to become a better actor, a better role player.
In games like D&D you have numerous goals, but acting (role playing) isn't one of them. Any role playing you do is incidental and there are really no mechanics for them. Even the now defunct Theatrix really doesn't have mechanics for acting, and the only system I can think of with what you can call acting rules would be the mechanics for social play provided in an accessory by Bill Stoddard for GURPS. Even Mythus doesn't really have express role playing mechanics, those are more often suggested than concrete.
Why Role Playing Games?
That we are playing role playing games is really more an assumption than an actual fact. And now that I've gotten this far I realize that this is going to have to be a series. So for the next in this series we'll have a look at what acting (role playing) is.
At this moment I'm feeling like crap. Hopefully my new medicine routine will make a difference. Hopefully my Monday I'll be able to get some things done that need to be done. For now I'm going to see about catching up on my sleep.
People to see: My doctor, my cardiologist, urologist, and Serving Seniors.
Advice: Should the father of your children smoke, kill him and bury his corpse under a tree in your back yard. Your legal fees will be cheaper than the kids' medical bills, and the tree will benefit.